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HONG KONG - GETTING AROUND

By Foot

The City of Hong Kong is a safe place for walking around with plenty of sidewalks, pedestrian crossing and areas that are well signposted giving tourists directions to the main attractions. In Central there are elevated, covered walkways for pedestrians separating walkers from the busy traffic on the streets and you could walk from Central to Causeway Bay in about an hour. There are plenty of parks in the area that are great for walking around including Hong Kong Park and Kowloon along with the many temples and street markets situated around the city. The Dragon`s Back Trail is a 31-mile long hike along the southeastern coastline providing walkers a beautiful outdoor setting with stunning views.

By Mass Transit Rail (MTR)

The Mass Transit Railway System is the main rail system covering Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and Lantau Island. The fast and efficient system covers the major attractions and includes rail lines, underground, subway, overland lines and Light Rail. The HK Airport Express line connects passengers to the Central district of Hong Kong from the airport in a 30-minute journey. The main stations are `Central` and Kowloon with other stations situated all over the city, metro signs are posted around town and stations in the city are color coded. The most popular lines for tourists are the Tsuen Wan Line (Red), Tung Chung Line (Orange), the Island Line (Blue) and Disneyland Line (Pink). Trains run every 2 - 4 minutes beginning at 6:00 am and end at 1:00 am with tickets prices depending upon the length of the journey, a trip from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central costs approximately HK$9.50, ticket machines are located at the stations and tourist passes are available. Visit www.mtr.com.hk for more information.

By Tram

The trams in Hong Kong are a historic part of the city, they have been transporting people around the since 1904. The trams run along a 10 mile stretch in the north corridor of the island, traveling from Kennedy Town (West) to Shau Kei Wan (East) and out to Happy Valley. Journeys are onboard double-decker streetcars that provide passengers with spectacular scenic views (from the top deck) of the sights and surroundings of this spectacular city. The trams run from 6:00 am and end at midnight with a flat rate of HK$2.30 no matter where you travel and provide a hop-off option at neighborhoods such as Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, North Point, Happy Valley and the Western District. Visit www.hktramways.com for more information.

The Peak Tram transports passengers to the top of Hong Kong `Victoria Peak` from Central. The tram originated in 1888 and was used exclusively for the British governor and the residents of The Peak. It is a popular 7-minute journey to the top, riding along the steepest funicular railway in the world. Operating hours are from 7:00 am until midnight, departing every 10 - 15 minutes with tickets costing around HK$45 per adult for a return and children aged 3 - 11 costing around HK$20, Seniors aged 65 and up cost the same as children. The main terminal can be found in the lower Peak area on Garden Road in Central.

By Bus

There are plenty of buses in Hong Kong, including the double-decker British style ones. Buses are mainly used in the southern part of the island including Lantau Island and the New Territories, to connect passengers with the areas where other forms of transportation do not go. The major bus companies are Citybus, New World First Bus, Kowloon Motor Bus, New Lantau Bus and Long Wind Buses with the main bus stations located in Central and Admiralty. Buses run from around 6:00 am until midnight daily and tickets cost around HK$4 up to HK$45 and half that price for children and seniors. Prices vary depending on the route, bus, distance, etc. The buses destination is shown on the front of the bus in English with bus stops located all over the city.

There are two companies that offer a Hop-on, Hop-off bus service in the city aboard double-decker sightseeing buses that make stops at the major attractions located in and around the island. The Big Bus Company www.bigbustours.com and Rickshaw Sightseeing Bus www.rickshawbus.com, visit the company`s websites for more information on their routes and ticket prices.

By Taxi

Taxis are available all over the city providing passengers a fast, efficient and affordable way around. Taxis are metered and can be found at taxi stands, outside major tourist attractions, outside train and bus stations, hotels hailed from the streets and ordered over the phone. If a taxi is available you will see a red `For Hire` flag will appear in the day and a lit `Taxi` sign at night. Taxis are color coded based on the territories and routes that they take, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon are red, New Territories are green and Lantau Island is blue. Prices vary based on where you are getting a taxi and how far you are traveling; generally, rates begin around HK$15 for the first 1 ¼ miles and then go up to HK$1.50 every 650 feet, HK$5 additional charge for every piece of luggage and orders by phone.

By Cable Car

The Ngong Ping 360 is a cable car on Lantau Island in Hong Kong that covers just under a 4-mile journey in 25 minutes transporting passengers from Tung Chung on the north coast to the Ngong Ping area situated in the hills where the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha are featured. The cable car ride provides spectacular views of the South China Sea and the mountainous region of Lantau Island. A standard cabin round-trip ticket for an adult costs approximately HK$185 and children 3 - 11 cost around HK$95.

By Escalator

The longest covered escalator in the world is housed in Hong Kong, traveling from Central through SoHo to the Mid-levels onward up the slopes of Victoria Peak. The escalators provide people a free journey through some of the oldest streets in the city. Covering a total length of 1 ½ miles, the people mover travels downward in the morning during rush hour and upward from 10:00 am providing locals an escalated commute.

By Ferry

Hong Kong is a coast city and surrounded by islands, ferries are one of the great forms of transportation featured in the city. The biggest pier for ferry departure is Central Ferry Piers where services are provided to the main islands and outlying islands, providing journeys to places such as Cheung Chau, Lamma Island, and Lantau Island, there are standard ferries and a faster more expensive option. There is a daily ferry from Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui with prices starting around HK$2.50, this ferry runs from 7:30 am until 11:00 pm daily.

The star of the show is `Star Ferry` which has been around since 1888, travel on this iconic boat and take one of the most celebrated rides in the entire world. The 5-minute journey takes you from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon on board the green or white ferries named Night Star, Twinkling Star, and the Meridian Star. The cost is approximately HK$2 Monday through Friday and HK$2.40 on the weekends and on holidays and the ferries run from 6:30 am until 11:30 pm, departing every 6 - 8 minutes.

By Car

Renting a car in Hong Kong is not advisable with so many options for public transportation there is no need to drive around the city that has heavy traffic, high gas prices, limited and expensive parking, etc. The island provides travelers with transportation that connects them to anywhere they need to go in the city or surrounding areas, a car is just not necessary.

By Bicycle

Riding a bike is only recommended in the quieter areas of the city, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon are not safe for cycling, but southern Hong Kong Island and the New Territories offer cyclers a safe and scenic route with bike paths. Due to certain laws bicycles are not allowed to ride on the highways or in tunnels. Rentals can be found in several different locations across the city including popular spots such as Cheung Chau, Lantau, Tai Po Market and Tuen Mun, renting a bike usually costs around HK$50 a day for a regular bike.

Octopus Card

The Octopus card is a rechargeable travel card that is valid for use on the MTR, buses, trams, and ferries as well as purchases at certain stores and supermarkets and some restaurants such as McDonald's. The cost for the card is HK$150 for adults and HK$70 for children, including an HK$50 refundable deposit. The cards can be purchased at any of the MTR stations from the customer service centers and from the Citybus, New World First Bus, and Admiralty East bus terminals. Visit www.octopuscards.com for more information.